Looking in the Rear-View Mirror
Happy New Year 2017!
I would like to begin my New Year’s message by expressing my heartfelt gratitude to all of you for your enduring support during my start up year for JLT Image Consulting. And what a year it was!
I began 2016 like a fish out of water, which is very strange for someone who spends as much time swimming in Lake Okanagan as I do. Last January, I embarked on one of the largest learning curves of my life. My first priority was to understand what I needed to do to get my new image consulting business up and running. I needed to pick a name for my company, select a logo, get a website created, and learn how to navigate and manage my social media. Oh, the things I learned about social media! I had to figure out how to establish my brand whatever that might be, create a marketing and promotional plan, and most importantly, I had to determine if I could make enough money to avoid going bankrupt in the first 6 months.
I quickly discovered there were many more demands and stresses associated with being a fledgling entrepreneur than I could have ever imagined. I devoured Darren Hardy’s book, The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster, and used it as my guidebook and bible over several months. There were days when I wasn’t sure if I was at the top of the roller coaster track or at the very bottom. Some days I felt like I was off the rails completely.
I had to let go of my former airline language and learn how to speak a brand-new language as an entrepreneur and business owner. All of the habits and routines I had developed and followed for over 30 years needed to be changed to match my new lifestyle, identity and profession.
When I met potential clients for the first time, I found myself wondering if they saw through my confident appearance and charm, and if they thought I was an imposter. I certainly remember thinking I was an imposter during my early weeks of 2016. As I learned and worked and learned some more, I quickly started to feel that I was the real deal. I realized that I was very good at helping people to improve and enhance their personal and professional image.
Now just one year later, I have found my stride. I am not bankrupt, I have many clients, and my reputation and success at JLT Image Consulting is growing. Today, I am fuelled with even greater hopes than what I had when I first decided I was going to be the world’s best image consultant. I also discovered that more people are following me and my progress than what I ever imagined. Knowing this inspires me to be the best that I can be every single day.
I still use my instinct to guide me in most situations, but I also make sure to surround myself with very smart and supportive people. My family has never waivered in their support to help me achieve my dream, and I am so grateful for their belief in me. I still have so much to learn about ‘everything’ related to my business, but I am more organized, more open minded, and far less critical of the mistakes I have made and will continue to make on my road to success.
So, for 2017, I have decided to exchange my rollercoaster ride for a Mercedes-Benz. No, I don’t drive a Mercedes yet, but I do like all of the attributes that a Mercedes-Benz symbolizes and how it relates to my business and personal goals. As a brand, Mercedes has foresight with fortitude. Each Mercedes-Benz is custom-tailored. The ride is smooth even over rough terrain, as it flexes to handle any activity in stride. It has power and stability in all seasons. It sounds like the car for me.
I think the biggest lesson I learned in 2016 is that success does not just happen. You need to have a vision and you need to work very hard to get there. I have taken my own image consulting advice and over a period of months, I have reinvented myself and updated my image. I strive to be a living example to others that when we want to change for the better, we can. I haven’t met a client yet who does not leave me super charged about the ways that I can assist them to overcome any problems or blind spots they have with their image. I also haven’t met a client who hasn’t been totally delighted with the results they have achieved while working with JLT Image Consulting.
There are big changes happening at JLT Image Consulting in the month of February, so please keep reading my blogs! Thank you again for your support and be the change you want to be in 2017. I am here to help you.